ISL455 Women in Islam, Civilisations and Cultures (8)

This subject addresses critically the modern paradigms concerning women and gender roles in primary and classical texts; through the Islamic history and civilisation; as well as in contemporary Muslim cultures and societies. Developing arguments from within a critical framework of an Islamic set of paradigms and values, it takes a fresh approach at women in Islam. It examines the status and role of women in scripture; explores significant women figures in mysticism, scholarship, social and political life. Muslim women are positioned in their historical and contemporary relaility with patriarchal, orientalist and feminist approaches highlighted. The subject covers cronologically the conditions and status of women in both contemporary Islamic and non-Islamic cultures. Classical, modern and feminist approaches, viewpoints and arguments are considered throughout the subject.


Session 2 (60)
United Theological College

Continuing students should consult the SAL for current offering details: ISL455. Where differences exist between the Handbook and the SAL, the SAL should be taken as containing the correct subject offering details.

Subject Information

Grading System



One session


Centre for Islamic Studies and Civilisation

Enrolment Restrictions

Master of Islamic Studies (Articulated Set)

Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion of this subject, students should:
  • be able to differenciate and critically assess paradigms related to women and their status in Islam and Muslim societies.
  • be able to demonstrate an in-depth understanding of Muslim women's experience throughout the history of Islam.
  • be able to articulate critically the role of women in Islamic sources, art, history and contemporary societies.
  • be able to develop a critical approach to patriarchal as well as counter-patriarchal discourses regarding women's status in Islam.
  • be able to analyse critically circumstances and factors other than religion influencing women's status in Islamic cultures and societies.
  • be able to discuss and evaluate critically controvertial issues of inheritance, divorce, hijab (veil) and polygamy in Islamic societies.
  • be able to discuss and evaluate Muslim women's role in society and religious activism.
  • be able to research interdisciplinary topics and apply critical reasoning while presenting arguments in oral and written (essay) forms.


This subject will cover the following topics:
  • Women in non-Islamic civilisations, Abrahamic religions and Islam
  • Women's roles and responsibilities according to the Qur'an
  • Women addressed in the Qur'an
  • Women around Prophet Muhammad
  • Women in the Medieval Age
  • Women and nation
  • Women and jurisprudence
  • Women and ijtihad
  • Rise of feminism in the Islamic cultures and communities
  • Women in the contemporary Islamic and Western Societies

Indicative Assessment

The following table summarises the assessment tasks for the online offering of ISL455 in Session 2 2019. Please note this is a guide only. Assessment tasks are regularly updated and can also differ to suit the mode of study (online or on campus).

Item Number
Value %
Participation and engagement
Research essay (achieving musl. women)
Take home exam

The information contained in the CSU Handbook was accurate at the date of publication: May 2021. The University reserves the right to vary the information at any time without notice.